Live leigh updates*
*Less live, as in right now, and more lively, as in full of life.
Well, family, it has been a few days since I have given you any news as to where and what and why I am doing whatever it is I am doing.
My winter in Medora could be described with many different words with an even greater variety of tone, but overall I am excited to share that my time has been fruitful. I choose to use the word fruitful because a combination of nurturing while also pruning has taken place in order to grow. The past five months feel like a long journey over more time than reality shows, but in actuality life has been for the most part like a concentrated dish soap: stripped of excess things that water it down, and not always by choice.
Now, I stayed in North Dakota with the goal of getting an EMT certification and serving the Lord. I was given different opportunities to do both! The class I took for EMT testing ended in December, and I was officially certified before Christmas! I did most of the class online, but had to travel to Fargo for labs and testing. During labs I got to meet a gal who was studying nursing and took the EMT class basically to fill time, which I thought was crazy, but was glad she did because we formed a little support system/learning team that allowed us both to pass the practical and written exams with minimal worry. I’m not too sure where she is at now, and she is inevitably not the only one to thank for finishing the course. The people of Billings County were a huge resource of encouragement! If I needed help with a concept or could benefit from more skills practicing, they were more than glad to offer all they had. If I took nothing, but the EMS team’s friendship from this adventure I would be glad.
However, God always is surprising me with joys of all sizes. As I traveled to and from Fargo over the course of the first semester I would often stop over in Bismarck to rest. The first trip I made I gracefully invited myself to stay with a family in East Bismarck for the night. In fact, it was so graceful that I bet they would argue they invited me to stay themselves, but it makes no difference because this family of six would soon become my very good friends. They are the kind of people who bring out my strengths and expose my weaknesses to promote growth (even if it hurts sometimes), and I am going to be forever thankful for their love and friendship.
Now, the EMS team, my classmate, and this family are still not the end. There is a retreat called SEARCH a few miles south of Medora that I have attended sporadically through senior year of High School and freshman year in Billings, but consistently since living here. I was even asked to lead a retreat that took place in January and am continually blown away by the firm relationships built through faith during the monthly weekend retreats. I could go on and on mentioning different people I have met along the way because they are endless, but without God’s blessing of my family through it all I fear I may have wanted give up. Dad, my sisters, aunts and uncles, and a few friends have continually reassured me of their support and love through whatever adventure the Lord brings me to.
Although winter has gone well and my perspective has been sharpened, not everything has been without failure. I did have to retake one of my practical tests, and at one point was 5,000 miles past a recommended oil change. I almost picked up a hitchhiker to drive him to Omaha, which for the record I thought would have been great but was greatly frowned upon by most of the people that love me. (Dad wouldn’t say to me it was a bad idea because he always wants me to do what I think is right, but he did say he was okay with me not following through.) A bit ago I went through a lengthy application process to join a mission team that included a trip to Ohio for an interview. In the end I was not chosen for the team, but dad and I had a good time exploring! (here’s a video-recap of that trip https://youtu.be/3ESblbKN0YU) So, I am, to no surprise, a human, and to never fail would be to never do anything at all; therefore as I fall again and again I remember that such stumbles are all part of the adventure!
Thank you for your love and support, and if you've read this far, I will reward you with some exclusive insider information. My ability to make killer chicken wings and bake deliciously moist peanut butter cookies has grown greatly, but my luck in finding a suitor remains minimal. You're welcome. :)